The ADL Initiative supports working groups to advance the state of distributed learning specifications and standards for the DoD, whole of government, and others who are a part of the ADL Community. Working groups are collections of problem solvers, also called communities of practice (COPs), and form coalitions around specific problems or topic areas that standards can help solve. Standards are important in that they clarify expectations consumers have or need and can protect them from false claims by products. Standards lower costs by solving logistical problems. Finally, standards allow transparency in marketing by simply including the standard and focusing on the product benefits. In the end, working groups foster a community of problem solvers who want to achieve interoperability, designers and developers who just want to create, and buyers who want to be confident in their choices. ADL participates in these working groups to maximize information and guide acquisition for DoD and other stakeholders, as well as advance the state of its own research initiatives.
The ADL Initiative belongs to, or otherwise actively participates with various professional societies and related standards/specifications organizations.
The IEEE LTSC is chartered by the IEEE Computer Society Standards Activity Board to develop internationally accredited technical standards, recommended practice, and guides for learning technology. The LTSC played an important part in helping the ADL Initiative create the internationally adopted SCORM® standard for eLearning content. The ADL Initiative is a voting member of the IEEE LTSC and contributes to several working groups focused on learning technology standards.
IMS Global Learning Consortium (IMS Global/IMS) is a nonprofit, member organization whose mission is to advance technology that can affordably scale and improve educational participation and attainment to ensure that the learning impact of technology-enabled education is achieved around the world. Several IMS specifications were used to develop the ADL Initiative's SCORM® specification. The ADL Initiative participates in various aspects of the IMS work, from standards creation to adoption of learning technology innovation to large-scale deployment of technology to achieve learning. In 2016, both the ADL Initiative and IMS expressed a renewed interest to work together and collaborate on learning technology standards and research areas of mutual interest. As a result, the ADL Initiative joined the IMS as a contributing member and has access to all IMS published standards in their membership-based website. Currently, the ADL Initiative and IMS are investigating whether convergence or alignment of the ADL Initiative's xAPI and IMS Caliper is possible.
ISO SC36 is a standardization subcommittee (SC), which is part of the Joint Technical Committee ISO/IEC JTC 1 of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), that develops and facilitates standards within the field of information technology (IT) for learning, education and training (LET). ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 36 was established in 1999 and collaborates with other standards groups including IMS and IEEE. The ISO SC36 group collaborates with the ADL Initiative and officially published SCORM® 2004 4th Edition as a formal ISO technical report in 2009. The ADL Initiative is an observing member of ISO SC36 and has access to all published standards through their membership-based website.